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Aggies Take Down Top-Ranked Tide

Jimbo Fisher became the first former assistant to defeat Nick Saban.
Credit: KAGS-TV

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — With 2:08 left in the game, an injured Zach Calzada led the Aggie offense 54 yards down the field to set up a Seth Small 28-yard field goal to dethrone the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, 41-38, Saturday night inside a packed Kyle Field.

 

The win marks the third time that the Aggies have beaten an AP No. 1 opponent as Jimbo Fisher became the first former assistant to defeat Nick Saban.

 

On the game’s opening drive, the Aggies marched down the field but ultimately stalled, setting up a Seth Small 38-yard boot. Alabama answered with a 10-play, 65-yard touchdown drive to give the Crimson Tide a 7-3 advantage. On the following drive, Texas A&M quickly fired back beginning with Calzada finding Demond Demas for 14 yards. Jalen Wydermyer closed out the drive with a 34-yard reception before the eventual 27-yard TD catch to take a 10-7 lead.

 

Alabama fumbled on the ensuing drive, allowing A&M to string together a 7-play, 41-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a 6-yard touchdown pass from Calzada to Ainias Smith. Nearing the midway point of the second quarter, Alabama was dealt a short-field due to an A&M interception, but the Maroon & White defense limited the damage to three points to keep a 17-10 advantage.

 

On the final drive of the half, the duo of Devon Achane and Isaiah Spiller was involved in all of the 7-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a Spiller 15-yard TD run to give the Aggies a 24-10 lead going into the locker room.

Nearing the 8:18 mark of the third quarter, Alabama blocked an A&M punt and landed on it in the end zone to trim the difference to seven, 24-17. Texas A&M answered in an electric and immediate fashion as Achane took the kickoff 96 yards to the house to strike back. The Tide went on to score 18 unanswered points, but the Aggies and the 12th Man never backs down.

 

With 5:00 left in the fourth quarter, Calzada was nearly perfect, completing four of his five passes and connecting on a beautiful, perfectly-placed 25-yard touchdown pass to Smith in the back right corner of the end zone to tie it up at 38.

 

The Maroon & White defense forced a key three-and-out to set the Aggies’ historic 8-play, 54-yard game-winning drive to etch their names in the record books.

 

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Texas A&M Football Post Game Notes

Texas A&M 41, No. 1 Alabama 38

Kyle Field (Bryan-College Station, Texas)

October 9, 2021

 

Team Notes

-          Texas A&M put up 41 points on Alabama, the most the Crimson Tide have allowed all season.

-          This marks the third time the Aggies have beaten an AP No. 1 – Nov. 10, 2012 at Alabama & Nov. 9, 2002 vs. Oklahoma.

-          Texas A&M is one of eight teams with multiple wins vs. an AP No. 1 team since 2000.

-          The Aggies limited Alabama to just 10 points in the first half, the fewest points the Crimson Tide had scored in the first half since being held scoreless by Georgia to start the 2017 national title game.

-          A&M’s 17 points in the first quarter were the most an opposing team has scored against the Crimson Tide in the opening period this season.

-          A&M racked up four sacks it the game. It marked the first time Alabama QBs had been sacked four times in a game since November 18, 2018 against Mississippi State.

-          Announced attendance against Alabama was 106,815 which ranks second all-time at Kyle Field and is the most since the stadium was renovated in 2015.

-          Today’s captains against Alabama were WR Ainias Smith, RB Isaiah Spiller, DL DeMarvin Leal and OL Kenyon Green.

 

Individual Notes

-          Junior QB Zach Calzada finished the game 21-for-31 for 285 yards and three TDs (one INT). He started the game 10-for-10 for 123 yards before his first incomplete pass.

-          Sophomore RB Devon Achane returned a kickoff 96 yards midway through the third quarter for the 16th-longest return in program history. It was the first time the Aggies have returned a kickoff for a TD since Jashaun Corbin ran it back 100 yards to score against Arkansas in 2018.

-          Junior TE Jalen Wydermyder extended his streak to 29 straight games with a reception as he also moved up A&M’s all-time career receiving yards list, upping his career total to 1,202 after tallying 73 against Alabama. He currently ranks second among tight ends and No. 28 among all Aggies.

-          Wydermyer also moved into a tie for ninth with Tony Harrison (1990-93) on the career receiving touchdowns list at A&M as his first-quarter catch in the end zone made it 14 scores for his career.

-          Junior WR Ainias Smith had TD receptions of 6 and 25 yards. The TD catches moved him into a tie for 11th with Albert Connell (1995-96) on A&M’s career list with 13 scores.

-          Junior RB Isaiah Spiller rushed for 46 yards and one TD on 17 carries. He moved into 13th place on Texas A&M’s career rushing list with 2,473. He passed Roger Vick (2,471 – 1983-86) and Leeland McElroy (2,442 – 1993-95).

-          Spiller racked up 89 all-purpose yards, ending the game with 3,018 yards for his career to become the 18th Aggie to go over the 3,000 yard plateau for his career.

-          Junior S Demani Richardson picked off Alabama in the end zone and returned the ball 3 yards for his first interception of the season and the third of his career.

-          After getting to the Alabama quarterback early in the third quarter, graduate Micheal Clemons made it three straight games with at least 1.0 sack. He has had at least 0.5 sack in each of the last four games.

-          Senior PK Seth Small was 2-for-2 on field goal attempts. He now ranks second on A&M’s career list for made field goals with 60, tied with Kyle Bryant (1994-97). He trails only Randy Bullock (63 – 2008-11).

-          Small was also 5-for-5 on PAT attempts. He now ranks third on A&M’s career list for PAT kicks made with 144. He trails only Randy Bullock (176 – 2008-11) and Kyle Bryant (145 – 1994-97).

-          Senior DE Tyree Johnson racked up 2.0 sacks for his second career multi-sack game.

-          Senior S Leon O’Neal Jr. notched a career-high nine tackles and added 1.0 sack and a PBU.

-          Junior DT DeMarvin Leal logged seven tackles in the game to go over the 100-tackle plateau for his career with 104.